It was eight months ago when President Donald Trump was reportedly considering purchasing the world’s largest island, Greenland.
Though the government of the semi-autonomous Danish territory ruled out Trump’s offer then, Greenland’s success in quashing the novel coronavirus makes it more alluring than ever.
Greenland reported its first coronavirus case on March 16. On April 4, the number of cases hit 11.
But this week the Arctic island announced that all the 11 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 had fully recovered.
While Greenland has obvious advantages over the U.S. in combating epidemic, the stringent measures it took before and immediately after the first COVID-19 case ensured fewer infections and consequently better outcomes. These measures included halting all air traffic, closing primary schools and banning public gatherings.
Containing the pandemic in Greenland was made relatively easy by the fact that all the 11 confirmed cases were in the capital, Nuuk.
Immediately after the first coronavirus case was confirmed, Greenland’s capital was closed off to the rest of the island. Only those with permission were allowed to leave or enter the capital.
Greenland also temporarily banned the sale of alcohol.
The stringent measures were motivated by fears that, if left unchecked, coronavirus would have outrun Greenland’s resource-constrained heath care system. This would have overwhelmed its emergency air transport and intensive care facilities. These steps have proven to be worthwhile and a lesson for the rest of the world.
Greenland cannot completely rule out the novel coronavirus finding its way back into the island though. That’s because the pandemic is still spreading throughout the world. But having quashed the novel coronavirus, the Arctic island can serve as the world’s source of hope for now.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.